Turtledove
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Hilarion
Fictional Character
"Festival Night"
Fantasy
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: Cathaly
Religion: Polytheism (apparently)
Cause of Death: Unrevealed
Occupation: High Haruspex

Hilarion was the High Haruspex of Cathaly. He was known to act at no man's bidding save his own. So Rigobert Botron, the city's premier merchant, came to him for a service with his best bargaining skills. Rather than Hilarion's suggestion of a goose or a cat for sacrifice, Rigobert brought an ox.

Rigobert and his son Ricold had come to inquire whether Ricold should marry Ellene Caffilos. After studying the entrails of the ox, Hilarion replied that the marriage would serve both houses well, and that its failure would bring ruin. The Botrons were pleased with this news, but Hilarion then declared that the marriage would not take place. The Botrons thought this to be the highest folly, and was more determined than ever to marry Ellene. After the Botrons left, Hilarion continued studying the entrails, and his face turned to more and more fear.

Nearly a year after the Botrons' visit, Hilarion was awakened on Festival Night by a psychic premonition that Cathaly was doomed. He swiftly resigned his position as High Haruspex and set off to Gosra to the southeast. Nine months later, a misdeed of Ricold touched off a clan feud, which caused Cathaly's streets to run red with blood. Then an earthquake leveled the city, killing every person remaining in it. Hilarion continued living in Gosra, when he died at a very old age.

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